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Watchdog group reveals ‘Enemies of the Internet’ list for 2012

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Global media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders on Monday released its “Enemies of the Internet” list for 2012. The list is comprised of nations it feels inhibit its citizens’ freedom to express themselves on, or even denies access to, the Internet. Reporters Without Borders’s report focuses a great deal on countries that have reportedly blocked access to social networks and microblogging services in an effort to impede the efforts of activists as they tried to organize fellow citizens. It also updated its “under surveillance” list, which covers countries that may soon be added to the enemies list. Read on for more.

“Online social networks complicate matters for authoritarian regimes that are trying to suppress unwanted news and information,” Reporters Without Borders wrote in its report. ”It was thanks to netizens that Tunisians learned about the street vendor who set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid and Egyptians learned about Khaled Said, the young netizen who was beaten to death by police outside an Alexandria Internet café. It was thanks to social networks that Sidi Bouzid and Khaled Said became news stories and went on to become cornerstones of the Arab Spring.”

The group points to microblogging services and social networks like Twitter as a means of quickly disseminating information and even organizing against oppressive regimes. In combination with the advent of other recent technologies such as mobile phone-based to video broadcasting, the group says these services are “increasing the possibilities of freeing information from its straightjacket.”

“The mixing of journalism and activism has been accentuated in extreme situations such as Syria, where ordinary citizens, appalled by the bloodshed, are systematically gathering information for dissemination abroad, especially by the international news media, so the outside world knows about the scale of the brutal crackdown taking place,” the group wrote.

New to the “Enemies of the Internet” list this year are Bahrain and a number of other countries, which join the likes of North Korea and China. Egypt, Malaysia, Australia and France find themselves on the group’s ”under surveillance” list, Australia for working with ISPs to create a mechanism for censoring certain online content, and France for filtering Web content and maintaining its “three-strikes” policy, which cuts off Internet access to people found to be downloading copyrighted content illegally three times. Libya was removed from the list following the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

Reporters Without Borders’s full report can be viewed on the organisation’s website.

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Explosive debut quarter brings Kindle Fire 14% share of tablet market

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Amazon’s Kindle Fire exploded onto the scene last November, quickly becoming one of the hottest gadget gifts for the holidays and maintaining its position atop Amazon’s best-sellers list for several months. According to a new report issued by market research firm IHS iSuppli, the Kindle Fire managed to secure 14% of the tablet market last quarter despite only being available for just over six weeks. ISuppli estimates that the retail giant shipped approximately 3.9 million Kindle Fire tablets in the fourth quarter of 2011, making it the No.2 tablet vendor in the world behind Apple, which saw its market share slide to 57% from 64% in the third quarter. Samsung shipped 2.1 million Galaxy tablets for 8% of the global market, Barnes & Noble shipped 1.9 million Nook tablets and Asus rounded out the top-5 with 612,000 tablets shipped. IHS iSuppli’s full press release follows below.

Apple’s Toughest Competition in the Fourth-Quarter Tablet Market Was…Apple 

February 16, 2012
RHODA ALEXANDER

Although soaring sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and other low-priced tablets trimmed Apple Inc.’s media tablet market share in the fourth-quarter, it was Apple’s own newly introduced iPhone 4S that proved to be the strongest competitor for the iPad during the final three months of 2011.Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads and iPad 2s during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the IHS iSuppli Display Materials & Systems Service at information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). But while shipments were up 39 percent from 11.1 million in the third quarter, Apple’s share of the global media tablet market slipped to 57 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 64 percent in the third quarter, as presented in the table below.

 Media Tablet Market Share

“Shipments of the iPad line fell short of IHS estimates in the fourth quarter as many loyal Apple customers devoted their dollars to shiny new alternatives,” said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS. “However, the primary alternative wasn’t the Kindle Fire—which debuted to solid sales in the fourth quarter—but Apple’s own iPhone 4S smartphone. The rollout of the iPhone 4S in October generated intense competition for Apple purchasers’ disposable income, doing more to limit iPad shipment growth than competition from the Kindle Fire and other media tablets.”

Amazon Opens Fire on Apple
The debut performance of the Kindle Fire played a strong role in the share shift as well, particularly in the U.S. market, which accounted for more than half of global fourth-quarter media tablet sales. Amazon shipped 3.9 million Fire tablets in the fourth quarter, allowing the company to garner a double-digit share of the market, at 14.3 percent. This drove Amazon to become the world’s second-largest tablet shipper in the fourth quarter, surpassing Samsung Electronics.

“Kindle Fire shipments in the fourth quarter came right in line with the IHS early December forecast of 3.9 million units, representing a respectable start for the Fire.” Alexander noted. “However, the long-term viability of the product will hinge on the success of Amazon’s business gamble, which depends on tablet sales driving substantial new online merchandise sales at Amazon.com in order to attain profitability.”

Sharing the Tablet Wealth
For the entire year of 2011, Apple shipped 40.5 million iPads and iPad 2s, up 168 percent from 15.1 million in 2010. This gave the company a 62 percent share for the year, down from the dominant 87 percent in 2010, when Apple had the media tablet market all to itself for most of the year.

Despite Amazon’s strong showing at the end of the year, Samsung held on to second place, with shipments of its Galaxy Tab line amounting to 6.1 million units, or 9.4 percent of the 2011 market. Amazon’s share for the year amounted to 6 percent.

Stress Tablets
The fourth-quarter introduction of value-priced tablets, most notably the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, created chaos across the Android tablet marketplace, forcing competitors to slash pricing in order to clear inventory.

“The surge in non-iPad shipments in the fourth quarter was achieved at considerable financial cost, with sharp price reductions across most of the competing Android tablets and actual product giveaways from a number of vendors as part of promotional efforts for other electronic products,” Alexander noted.

In the wake of the new low bar for pricing set by the Fire and the Nook and the looming Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility, manufacturers and branded vendors are looking to Windows 8 tablets as a more profitable alternative. Watch for a surge of Windows 8 and ARM microprocessor-based tablets in late 2012 and early 2013.

Apple’s Tablet Plans
Apple is set to reclaim its tablet market share when it commences volume shipments of the next version of the iPad, which is expected in the second quarter of this year.

IHS iSuppli anticipates strong sales for the iPad 3, with demand expected to outstrip supply for several months. The new device is reported to feature a QXGA retina display with a pixel format of 2,048 by 1,536, as well as SIRI, the popular voice interface of the iPhone 4S. As with previous iPad releases, Apple is anticipated to stage a staggered rollout, introducing the new product in different countries around the globe as supply improves.

Media Tablet 2011 Results
Year-End Media Tablet Shipments Came In At 65.2 Million Units, Slightly Above The IHS Forecast Of 64.7 Million Units.

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Sprint 4G LTE devices to launch during second half of 2012

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Sprint’s chief financial officer Joe Euteneuer confirmed during the recent UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York that Sprint is on schedule to release its first 4G LTE devices during the second half of 2012. Euteneuer explained Sprint’s LTE speeds will be “very competitive to what’s already out on the marketplace” and that there will be a number of devices available, FierceWireless said. The timing is on a par with what Sprint originally said during its Strategy Update meeting in October, when executives explained the carrier was working closely with Qualcomm to deliver 4G LTE devices to market alongside the network’s launch in mid-2012. Sprint inked a new LTE and WiMAX agreement with Clearwire on December 1st, worth as much as $1.6 billion for Clearwire over the next four years, that will provide Sprint with added LTE capacity and guaranteed access to Clearwire’s WiMAX network through 2015.

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SA: Global tablet shipments balloon 280% in Q3, Apple owned 67% of market

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Global media tablet shipments in the third quarter ballooned 280% over the same quarter last year to reach 17 million units. Boston-based research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics found that Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android OS combined to capture a combined 94% of the global market, leaving Microsoft, HP and RIM fighting for scraps. Apple shipped 11.1 million iPads to take 67% of the market according to Strategy Analytics, and Google’s Android platform accounted for 27% of the market. ”Demand for tablets in developed and developing markets remains high,” Strategy Analytics director Peter King said in a statement. “Apple shipped a record 11.1 million iPads and registered a healthy 67 percent global tablet market share during the third quarter of 2011. Apple iOS remains the world’s dominant tablet platform with the most established services ecosystem.” Strategy Analytics’ full press release follows below.

Strategy Analytics: Apple & Android Capture 94 Percent Share of Global Tablet Shipments in Q3 2011

Boston, MA — October 21, 2011According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 17 million units in the third quarter of 2011. Apple iOS and Android dominate the worldwide market with a combined 94 percent share.

Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global tablet shipments reached 16.7 million units in Q3 2011, surging 280 percent from 4.4 million in Q3 2010. Demand for tablets in developed and developing markets remains high. Apple shipped a record 11.1 million iPads and registered a healthy 67 percent global tablet market share during the third quarter of 2011. Apple iOS remains the world’s dominant tablet platform with the most established services ecosystem.”

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Android captured 27 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q3 2011, rising twelve-fold from 2 percent a year earlier. Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Samsung, Acer and others have been driving volumes. Industry eyes will next turn to the commercial launch of the Amazon Fire. Amazon’s strategy of minimizing its hardware price is set to ignite the entry-level tablet segment and attract more mass-market consumers.”

Other findings from the research include:

  • Microsoft captured a niche 2 percent global tablet share in Q3 2011. The future release of Windows 8 cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space;
  • RIM and its QNX platform captured 1 percent global tablet share in Q3 2011. The next-generation PlayBook 2.0 model will need to offer a much improved ecosystem for messaging and consumer apps if it wants to take off.

Exhibit 1: Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2011 [1]

Global Tablet OS Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 ’10

Q3 ’11

Apple iOS

4.2

11.1

Android

0.1

4.5

Microsoft

0.0

0.4

QNX

0.0

0.2

Others

0.1

0.5

Total

4.4

16.7

Global Tablet OS Marketshare %

Q3 ’10

Q3 ’11

Apple iOS

95.5%

66.6%

Android

2.3%

26.9%

Microsoft

0.0%

2.4%

QNX

0.0%

1.2%

Others

2.3%

2.9%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

Growth Year-over-Year %

N / A

280% 

The full report, Global Tablet OS Market Share: Q3 2011, is published by the Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen (TTS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/3gyw3hz.

[1]  Shipments refer to sell-in. Numbers are rounded. The definition of tablet does not include e-book readers.

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Sony says PS3 motion controller was codenamed ‘Gem,’ might or might not actually be called Gem

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
We never heard much more of the rumored Sphere codename for Sony’s PlayStation 3 motion controller since it cropped up a few months ago, but it looks like we now finally have another name for it besides “PlayStation Motion Controller.” That word initially came from EA’s John Riccitiello, who let slip the name “Gem” during his talk at the UBS 37th Annual Global Media Conference when speaking about Sony’s and Microsoft’s new motion controllers. Just odd enough to work? Well, not so fast, as Sony would only go so far as to confirm to Kotaku that Gem was “an early code name for the product,” adding that they “haven’t announced final name at this point.” Not exactly a full-on non-denial denial, to be sure, but it would seem that the door for Gem is at least open a tiny crack.

[Thanks, Aaron]

Sony says PS3 motion controller was codenamed ‘Gem,’ might or might not actually be called Gem originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 10 Dec 2009 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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